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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Barcelona : Barceloneta

Discussion on defining district borders for Barcelona is in progress. If you know the city pretty well, please share your opinion on the talk page.

Barceloneta is a district of Barcelona.


Barceloneta or Little Barcelona was built after King Felipe V ordered the construction of a new fortress (La Ciutadella, nowadays a park) in order to control and punish the city of Barcelona, that fought against him during the war of Spanish Succession. The fortress was planned very close to the city so that a tenth of it was demolished, and the people who lived in this part had no compensation and as a bigger punishment were obliged to demolish their own houses.

The people from the demolished part of Barcelona had to move, so a new quarter was planned by the French military. Therefore, the streets are straight and with a square shape. There are still some houses from this period, easy to recognize because they are much lower than the others and have a simple neoclassical decoration.

Historically a fisherman's quarter, Barceloneta has always been a poor quarter, with dark and narrow streets, although it's slowly being gentrified after the 1992 Olympics. Most noticeably along the seafront. There are now delis serving upscale foodstuffs and high rise office buildings going up.

Get in

You can arrive either walking from the city center (15 minutes in a nice walk around the harbor from La Rambla) or by subway (L4 yellow line stopping at Barceloneta).

Get around

Hire a bike and ride along Barceloneta's beaches for a different view of Barceloneta.

  • Barceloneta Bikes, carrer Mestrança 49, very close to the beach [1]. It has probably the best (cheap) prices in the whole Barcelona for city, road and mountain bikes.
  • L'Aquarium, [2]. The second biggest aquarium in Europe (after that in Genoa). Watch thousands of fishes, penguins and sharks in this interactive sea-life museum. Unlike Genoese Aquarium it has a long glass "tube", where you can walk watching sharks and other fish swimming around. Located at the Port Vell leisure center, next to the IMAX cinema. Entrance ticket - €16.
Port Vell (Old Port)
Port Vell (Old Port)
  • Olympic Port. It has a large number of restaurants, bars and other establishments which have made Barcelona's nightlife bustling. In this wide offer you can find also the Barcelona Casino.
  • Zoo-Barcelona, [3]. It is in Parc de la Ciudadella. Prior to his death, this zoo was famous for its albino gorilla "Snowflake". Today this zoo still has many other features including a science museum inside the zoo. Entry fee € 16.
  • Parc de la Ciutadella, at the end of Carrer Princesa. This park is Barcelona's most central park, and includes a zoo, a lake and several museums. In fact, the park is so large, 74 acres, that the Catalan Parliament can be found in the center of the park. It's a great place to enjoy games, sports or to spend a leisurely afternoon.
It was built at the final part of the XIX century in the place that formerly occupied the fortress (ciutadella) built after the defeat of 1714. This fortress was hated by the citizens, and when the middle age walls were demolished, so was most of the fortress. Some buildings where conserved, as such as the church, and the gunpowder magazine. The new park was used as the place to hold the 1888 international expo, and some of the older modernist buildings are there, such as the Zoology museum, the greenhouse and, following the avenue Passeig de Sant Joan (towards the mountain), the Arc del Triomf, a modernist Arc de Triomphe.
  • MHC: Museu d'Història de Catalunya (Catalonia's Museum of History), [4]. In Catalan and English. A must in order to understand the troubled (and sad) history of the Catalans. Free on the first Sunday each month (but they close at 14:30).  edit
  • Museum of Natural History, [5]. This museum in the Ciutadella Parc is especially recommended for children. Most interesting is the rain forest project, in which you can observe a living forest from various angles (even from below!). Open from 10:00AM to 6:30PM. Free on the first Sunday each month (close at 2:30PM)  edit
  • Beach, just 10-15 minutes from <M> Barceloneta, or a few minutes from <M> Vila Olimpica/Ciutadela. The beach stretches from the tip of Barceloneta in Port Vell and far away, passing Vila Olimpica and further. On warm summer days it will be crammed with people, and it might be a good idea to find a spot further away or go to a beach outside of Barcelona.
    The seafront at Barceloneta
    The seafront at Barceloneta

There's nothing better then covering your toes with sand and lying upwards in the sun, and there's no better place to do this than on Barceloneta's famed beauty. Sit back, relax and enjoy.

This guide uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget Up to €10
Mid-range €10 - €25
Splurge €25 and up

The Barceloneta is still the fishermen's quarter of Barcelona, because it's next to the port and the beach. It's the best place to go to eat seafood, such as paella or black rice, made only with fish and black-colored because of the squid-ink used to cook it. It is also a great place to eat tapas and take a walk during the summer nights.

  • La Bombeta, Carrer de la Maquinista with Carrer del Mar. Good tapas and more substantial dishes. A great alternative to the tourist traps along the waterfront. No English menus, but very friendly.
  • La Ría de Vigo, Carrer de Sevilla (in front of the beach). Go just for the paella and black rice, it's divine. 7% VAT is not included and bread is paid separately, but the quality of food is more than worth that extra charges.
  • Agua, Olympic Port, Passeig Maritim de la Barceloneta, 30 (M. Barceloneta), +34 93 225-1272, [6]. Lunch 1:30-4PM (Sat-Sun -5PM); dinner 8:30PM-12AM (Fri, Sat -1AM). Creative cooking combining Catalonian traditions with Italian cuisine. The terrace outside showcases some great views of Barceloneta. average dinner €25.  edit
  • Les Set Portes (The Seven Doors), Passeig Isabel II, 14 (near the harbor; in the buildings between Born and Barceloneta), +34 93 319 30 33 (), [7]. Mon-Sun 1PM-1AM. This is one of the oldest restaurants in Barcelona. Offers the best Catalan dishes around, at a good price. It's especially famous for its Paella Parellada (rich man's paella, so called because they take the shells off), which is really worth a try. The roast kid (goat) is also a great traditional Catalan dish. Above-average prices: $15 for the Paella; dinner with wine: €40-60.  edit
  • Le Kashbar, Pl. Pau Vila. With a Moroccan decor, Le Kashbar is the perfect spot to chill out on cushions and take in the ambient music.  edit
  • Baja Beach Club, Pg. Marítim de la Barceloneta, 34. One of the most popular clubs to go dancing in, they play a wide variety of music to appease all music fans.  edit
  • Danzantoria, Ramon Trias Fargas. House music fans come here for the pumping beats and funky decor. Offers two floors of dancing, and a terrace to chill out on between dances.  edit
  • Hotel Diagonal Zero, Plaza Llevant s/n, +34(93)5078000, [8]. checkin: 15; checkout: 12. 4stars Hotel located in front the CCIB and next to the beaches. 120.  edit
Las millors vistes de Barcelona.
Las millors vistes de Barcelona.
  • W Barcelona, Plaça de la Rosa dels Vents, 1, +34932952800, [9]. checkin: 15:00; checkout: 12:00. Designed by world-renowned architect Ricardo Bofill, W Barcelona provides a contemporary lifestyle experience with a complete service offer. Located beachfront along the famous Barceloneta boardwalk, the hotel features 473 guest rooms, including 67 suites, two WOW suites and one Extreme Wow Suite with 360 degree panoramic views. 195. (41.369377,2.188318) edit


Increasingly, there are also many Youth Hostels that offer budget accommodation to those who don't mind bunking in a dormitory with other travelers.

  • Sea Point Hostel, (In front of Saint Sebastian beach), +34 93 231 2045 (), [10]. An affordable hostel that has clean and cheap rooms, as well as nice views from the terrace. The staff also plan activities for the evening for visitors. From €13 including breakfast, internet access and bottom linen..  edit
  • NH Constanza, C/ Deu i Mata, 69-99, +34.93.2811500 [11]. A recently built hotel, designed by the world-renown architect Rafael Moneo. Located at the Avenida Diagonal/Numancia axies, Barcelona's commercial and financial centre.

Stay safe

Watch out for purse snatchers along the seafront, and never leave anything valuable unattended while going for a swim. On busy days there will usually be patrolling police along the beach. Thieves tend to steal peoples bags on the beach (they even attempt to do so while you are there with your bag).

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